I-Ran, but couldn’t hide…

June 16, 2009 at 4:32 PM Leave a comment

OR…

What the aftermath of the Iranian election shows us about the power of social media.

Unless you’ve been hiding under “Iraq” (I swear that’s the last pun on a Middle Eastern country name in this post), you’ve heard about the turmoil in Iran in response to a hasty vote count of highly speculated presidential election. Despite the Iranian government’s efforts to keep out foreign media personnel and control the increasing unrest amongst citizens, word is getting out.

Regardless of political leanings, nationality or religion, it’s safe to say that the state of society in Iran is a mess — and the whole world knows it.

This morning I woke up to my daily dose of CNN to find out that Iran’s government officials were blocking certain web sites and interfering with cell phone signals and other methods of communication. Where did Iranian citizens turn? You need only ask Sylvester.

Tweety-bird (my pet name for Twitter) helped carry the message of thousands of Iranians and millions more around the world as the masses sought democracy and freedom.

If you missed the chatter (and, I don’t blame you) you can check out the #freeiran
or #iranelection search pages.

So what does this tell us about Public Relations and social media?

It tells us that, as organizations (governmental or not) no matter how much we try to hide that big, fat, ugly, half-fuchsia-half-chartreuse, (did I mention BIG?) elephant in the room, IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN.

SM’s created a new dynamic amidst the people. We’re not living in the same world where the market place of ideas can be stifled by the broom and the rug of administrative action.

Give credit to technology, the Internet, social media or Twitter if you want, but the fact is that this is the result of the people. The tools they use are just instruments of empowerment. And governments, corporations and NGOs all need to realize it.

The sooner the better.

Let me hear your thoughts. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, so let me know if it’s worth your while.

Images courtesy of cartoonstore.net & birdsinthebelfry.com, respectively.

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Tossing my cap and blogging for fun Everyone needs to unplug, sometimes

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